Graham soars at Snead St
by LaVonte Young
The hard work Brandon Graham putting in last summer had him prepared to take advantage of the opportunity he received at Snead State last fall.

The Munford native went to Boaz just hoping for an opportunity to play on the next level, but he left as a vital piece of their basketball program.

“I went up there for a tryout,” Graham said. “He hit back later on in the summer and he said that he wanted me to come walk on at Snead. I had a great first semester and I ended up getting a scholarship in the second semester.”

This season, Graham averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game. Graham made his presence felt right away. In his first collegiate game, he scored 16 points against Atlanta Metropolitan College. In his second game, he scored 19 points against L.B. Wallace College. He scored in double digits in 15 games, including a 21-point performance against Gadsden State.

“I was the second go-to guy on the team if we needed a big shot,” Graham said. “I’ll be the second sometimes, the first option to shoot the ball at big moments. Sometimes teams would have to double team me.”

Last season, the 6-foot-6 forward showed he could bang on the inside. This upcoming season, he will get a chance to be on the wing where he can use his athletic frame to slash to the basket for highlight reel finishes like he had at Munford.

“I am moving to small forward this upcoming season,” Graham said. “I played the position in high school. Since we have more height this season, he is going to move me to small forward. I will still play a little power forward and center. I am ready for that change; I have been waiting for it.”

Graham said he felt proud he was able to come out of Munford and be successful.

“It feels great,” Graham said. “Coming home and people are hearing that I am doing good. They are wishing me the best in my future. It feels great to come out of a small town like Munford and have that chance to shine in college.”

Coming into this season, Graham has set lofty goals for himself.

“This upcoming year I want to be the leading scorer,” Graham said. “I want to become an All-American for JUCO and I want to have the opportunity to go Division I.”

Since getting out for summer, Graham has spent most of his free time in the gym working hard to become a better basketball player.

“I have been working every day trying to get better,” Graham said. “I hit the weights everyday. I put up around 250 shots each day. I have been working on agility and just shooting every day.”

Graham said he had a series of dunks in a game that served as one of his most memorable memories of his freshman season.

“I can’t say that I have dunked on anybody this season,” Graham said. “I had a couple of memorable dunks. I didn’t dunk on anybody this season, but next season I plan on it. One game I had three dunks in a row. I had one put-back dunk, a tomahawk and a regular what I call a Lebron James dunk. That is when he cocks the ball back to his feet with two hands. It was all within a one-minute span.”

Graham also handled his business in the class room as he finished the year on the Dean’s List.

“This past year, I finished with A’s and B’s,” Graham said. “Well it is a lot different, you practice all the time and you have to have time to do your school work. You have to do your school work that is a must if you want to play basketball. Mainly you are in the gym or doing homework. You are always busy with something. I had to get use to it, but it wasn’t too tough.”

Munford head coach Isiah Gaddis said he knew if someone gave Graham a chance he would shine on the next level.

“I figured he would do well,” Gaddis said. “He is a hard worker and I am real proud of him. I think the sky is the limit for him if he continues to work hard.”

© 2012